Whether you’re considering moving to a smaller home or have just decided you have too much Christmas stuff, there comes a time for all of us when we decide we need to focus on downsizing holiday decorations.
Past generations didn’t seem to have this same thought when it came to decluttering the holidays. It might be a broad conclusion to jump to, but judging by the massive amounts of Christmas crap I see at literally every estate sale I’ve ever been too, it’s pretty clear no one was ever downsizing.
If you’re realizing that you now have too much stuff and simply not enough space, or just don’t want to store things you really don’t ever use, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all. There’s also a good chance you’re not quite sure how to even begin to tackle the project of eliminating all of this wonderful decor!
I have no doubt that much of it was gifted to you by a beloved family member and holds sentimental value, even if it’s the ugliest thing you’ve ever seen and it never sees the light of day. It can be really hard to get rid of Great-Grandma’s treasures or the ornaments we receive every year from parents and grandparents. I myself have no less than 3 broken ornaments from my childhood on my own tree that I just cant seem to part with.
I also have a rather small house with extremely limited storage space. So everything we keep has a reason and purpose. It’s all stuff we love and use. Over the years, we’ve learned how to be pretty ruthless in decluttering. In fact, about once a year we go through the entire house and eliminate anything that has crept in and started to take up space without are awareness!
I promise you, it is possible to go about downsizing holiday decorations without a lot of heartache. It might not be the easiest thing to do, but you can remove some of the discomfort of it. If you struggle to downsize your holiday decor, try these three simple steps. They will help make decluttering so much easier!
Downsizing Holiday Decorations in 3 Simple Steps
First, take a look at what you really have and then determine what your goal is. Is your goal to simply free up some space because Christmas storage has taken over half of your basement? Or is your goal to eliminate as much as possible because you just don’t decorate much?
Get really clear on your goal. If necessary, pick an exact number of totes you want to keep. Alternatively, consider finding a specific location you’ll store your decorations and do not let yourself overflow that area! You’ll want to think about this every time you have apprehension over whether or not to get rid of something.
Second, start opening up all of those boxes, totes and containers filled with your Christmas treasures. This may be a slow process, but you must go through each and every container, piece by piece. Take every item out.
As you look over each item, decide then and there if you want to keep it or not. As you decide, you’ll want to consider a few things about the item. If you know you want to eliminate the item then immediately set it aside in a donate box.
If you’re struggling a little more it’s time to get clear and critical about the task at hand. Ask yourself several questions about the item.
How to Decide to Get Rid of an Item
- What is your goal? Always come back to your goal.
- Do you like it? If the answer is no, this should be a strong indicator to get rid of the item.
- Do you ever use it? If the item never gets put out with the decorations and has been sitting in the box for more than two years, this is another strong reason to get rid of it. Especially if your answer to number two was also no! If it goes out every other year, or every few years, and you do like it consider if it is hindering you from your ultimate goal (number 1) and ask yourself if seeing it every few years is worth it.
- What is your reason for not wanting to get rid of the item? If it’s sentimental, is there another family member who may also feel a connection to it that may want it? Sometimes our reluctance to get rid of something is because we feel like we’re getting rid of the person who gave it to us, or the memory of them. Passing it on to another family member who will cherish it allows it to live on.
- If it’s not sentimental, is it because it was a gift? If it was a gift and you do not like it, get rid of it! Millions of homes are overflowing with things that people will not get rid of because “it was a gift.” This is a waste of everyone’s energy. Trust me. Most people will never remember they gave it to you, let alone know that you don’t own it anymore. You’re not dismissing the person or thought behind the gift. You’re just choosing the goal which is more important at this point in your life.
- Is it because it was expensive? Oh well! Consider it a lesson learned and get rid of it. Keeping something we don’t want, like, or use simply because it was expensive is useless. There is just no purposeful reason to do that. It may actually do more damage to you than getting rid of it. The money is gone. Don’t let it take up space and bring you guilt every time you see it, too.
- Is it because you don’t know what to do with it? Move on to the next step. There are lots of options!
Third, decide what to do with each item you’ll get rid of. Pass on sentimental family memories to other family members. Donate items you have no real attachment to.
If there are items you have no real attachment to but are having difficulty donating to a thrift store, there are other options. Contact a local senior center, nursing home, school, children’s hospital, or homeless shelter and find out if they would like them. Some places would be thrilled to get some new decorations. Just ask around!
As a bonus, you get to help bring joy with items you aren’t using to some people who may really need it. It can really help you overcome the discomfort of parting with something if you know it’s going to bring joy.
Downsizing Holiday Decorations is Easier than You Think!
So many of us experience such overwhelm at the idea of downsizing anything that we just put it off. Holiday decorations are one thing that get put off year after year because it just feels like too much. Mostly because we have so much of it!
But it doesn’t have to be difficult. You just need to remove a little bit of the emotion from it. Keep reminding yourself of your ultimate goal. Then, remember that just because it’s not in your house being loved by you, doesn’t mean it can’t be loved by someone!
That’s the ultimate goal. Because clutter that is unloved is just clutter. But get it into the hands of someone who will cherish it, display it, and truly love it, and it becomes useful again. So get going through all those boxes and get all of those once loved, once used treasures back out there being loved!